Cloud Computing for
BY GEORGE BOATH, DIRECTOR OF CHANNEL MARKETING, TELESTREAM
Are you considering cloud computing services to host your
media processing or transcoding workflows, or has someone
in your company asked if would be right for your business?
At Telestream we have a lot of experience with cloud and
on-prem computing for transcoding, so we hope that we can
help you to reach the best decision.
One thing is certain—this is a complicated decision
with many factors to consider. However, we have helped
many customers adopt cloud-based transcoding, either as
replacement for or supplementary to their on-prem systems,
so it clearly is the right choice for many.
Aside from the decision about where to host your systems,
you should be thinking about how to pay for it. In other words,
consider the business model alongside the infrastructure
There are many infrastructure options available today for
the media systems architect:
• Dedicated on-prem servers with perpetual
• Virtual machines in private data centers
with scalable or perpetual software licenses.
• IaaS (infrastructure as a service) cloud computing
with perpetual software licenses.
• IaaS cloud computing with software subscription.
• PaaS (platform as a service) offering scalable
machine and software instances.
• SaaS (soft ware as a service) on public cloud computing
with payments covering both hardware and soft ware.
These represent several financial models, from full capex
to full opex, with different combinations in between. With so
many options it can be complicated to run a thorough cost/
We believe you should be looking at software function
first;—i.e., what must the system do for your business—then
choose the appropriate financial model, and finally decide on
the computing/service infrastructure that can support both
decisions. It can be a big mistake to let your infrastructure
choice dictate your other decisions.
Having said that, the infrastructure decision is important,
so when choosing where to locate your transcoding or media
processing services, there are a few concepts to consider:
a. If shortest processing time is your priority, the servers
should be located close to the file storage in terms of
net work topology. In most cases, on-prem servers with GPU
acceleration will provide the fastest performance, but if the
files are already on a cloud storage facility, it may be faster
to use servers that have direct access to that storage.
b. Virtualization of servers has many benefits, but media
processing tasks such as transcoding will often use the full
resources of a server, so you may not see all of the potential
benefits of virtualization or containerization.
c. Running modern software on virtual machines or
containers is not difficult, but ask about how the software
you choose is licensed. If you have to purchase enough
perpetual licenses to cope with peak demands, you will
miss out on many benefits of virtualization. Elastically
scalable software rental is a better fit for a virtualized
d. SaaS models for transcoding and media processing, if used
extensively, may appear to cost more than the headline
price of buying your own servers and software. This simple
comparison ignores the indirect costs of owning your own
servers—from real estate for the racks to A/C and power
to system admin labor costs. Most customers choose SaaS
models for flexibility, scalability and convenience more
than for cost.
e. Workflow orchestration should enable the use of any one
or a combination of the different infrastructure types and
payment models according to your business needs, and
with no difference in software functionality.